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  •  Cameroon seeks AIB N support on aircraft accident investigation
    Cameroon seeks AIB-N support on aircraft accident investigation
     Cameroon seeks AIB N support on aircraft accident investigation
    Cameroon seeks AIB-N support on aircraft accident investigation
    General news5 days ago

    Cameroon seeks AIB-N support on aircraft accident investigation

    The Republic of Cameroon on Wednesday in Abuja sought for support of Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N) on investigation of an air crash that occurred in the sister African country.

    The accident, involving a Havilland DHC 400 Twin Otter aircraft, occurred on May 11, in Cameroon.

    Mrs Essimi Dine, the Director of Civil Aviation of the Ministry of Transportation, Cameroon,  led a team from Cameroon to AIB-N headquarters on  the matter.

    She said the support of AIB was necessary due to its advanced infrastructure for accident investigation.

    Dine said the AIB-N would help the Cameroon authorities to download and analyse information from the recorder of the aircraft on the accident that occurred in Cameroon.

    According to her, the Republic of Cameroon will further collaborate with AIB-N on capacity building in accident investigation.

    “ We have come to see how AIB is doing things.

    What they can do in terms of equipment and infrastructure they have.

    “Thank you for your warm welcome here in Nigeria.

    We appreciate the support of the AIB.

    We are sure that the cause of the accident will be resolved after our work here.

    “We will further request for other areas of collaboration.

    We really appreciate the support of AIB, “ she said.

    Earlier, Mr Akin Olateru, the Commissioner of AIB-N, said the bureau would be part of the accident investigation being carried out by Cameroon, noting that Nigerians were on board.

    According to him, two Nigerian pilots and a Cameroonian operator were involved in the accident.

    “Cameroon has decided to seek assistance of AIB-N in terms of the investigation to help with the download of the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), analysis of information and animation of how it happened.

    “As you are aware, we have one of the best accident investigation laboratories in the world.

    We have capability of getting information from the damaged recorder which the aircraft came with.

    “The aircraft came with a highly burned recorder.

    We will be able to retrieve information from it, “ he said.

    Olateru said the AIB-N had previously helped some African countries including Niger Republic, Gambia and Sierra Leone in a related development.

    He said that AIB-N had just received  approval from the Ministry of Justice to sign an MOU with Sierra Leone to help the country to set up an Independent Accident Investigation Centre.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Oil theft Okowa seeks surveillance contract review on facilities
    Oil theft: Okowa seeks surveillance contract review on facilities
     Oil theft Okowa seeks surveillance contract review on facilities
    Oil theft: Okowa seeks surveillance contract review on facilities
    General news7 days ago

    Oil theft: Okowa seeks surveillance contract review on facilities

    Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has advocated a review of surveillance contracts on oil facilities to involve host communities in order to check the high rate of oil theft in the country. 

    Okowa  made the call when he received a Federal Government delegation on anti-il theft led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, on Monday in Asaba.

    He said that reviewing oil surveillance contracts based on performance of the contractors and engagement of host communities would ensure effectiveness in securing the nation’s oil and gas assets.

    Okowa said that the challenge of oil-theft was huge, given the level it had assumed, but expressed happiness with steps taken by the authorities to curb the menace.

    “I am glad that we are discussing this hydra-headed issue which impacts directly on our economy and the environment.

    “It impacts on the health of the people and sustainability of the environment and I am glad that we are taking some steps because there are so many issues that led us to this.

    “We went through situations where gaps where created between host communities and oil companies, and unfortunately criminality set in.

    “It has gone so bad but we are doing our best as a state.

    I am also glad with this collaboration,’’ he said.

    The governor said it was pertinence of a review of surveillance contracts of the oil facilities to ensure community involvement.

    Okowa said that it was often difficult to secure the facilities, especially when the persons given the contracts did not have adequate information on the environment or not have the buy-in of host communities.

    “We know that the impact of the nefarious activities on the health of the people cannot be immediately ascertained and this collaboration is, therefore, very imperative.

    “Any measure that will deliberately reduce the level of oil thefts is definitely worth supporting, and as a state government, we pledge our continued support.

    “Why investment of the communities is needed is because there are some parts of the creeks that cannot be accessed by the surveillance contractor.

    “The surveillance contracts should be tied to performance such that when there are oil thefts, you terminate the contract and it is always good that communities are involved because they know the environment better,” he said.

    He, however, flayed the oil companies for not keeping faith with their Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs), thereby making the stakeholders to lose confidence in the system.

    Okowa said that when oil companies failed to sign or implement MOUs, “it becomes very difficult for the state government to mediate when there are issues.

    “The security agencies must heighten their operations and they need to be resourced to enable them to also increase their level of surveillance and for this to succeed, there must be sincerity on the part of all stakeholders.

    ”Earlier, Sylva said that the team was in Asaba to seek the support and buy-in of the state government on measures to be adopted to check oil-theft.

    He said that oil theft had become a national emergency, especially as the nation had not been able to meet its OPEC production quota.

    “As a country we cannot sustain this kind of theft perpetually.

    “Our production has dropped drastically to very unsustainable levels; so, we have decided to take the bull by the horn by putting some structures in place.

    ”Those structures cannot function effectively without the collaboration of the state government,” he said.

    Also, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, who is coordinating the security intervention against oil theft, disclosed that in the last five months security agencies had been dealing with issues of illegal refineries and oil bunkering across the Niger Delta.

    He also advocated for the engagement of indigenes and host communities in the fight against the criminal activity.

    On his part, Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Malam Mele Kyari, said that Nigeria was currently losing about two billion dollars monthly to the activities of oil vandals, with its attendant effect on environmental degradation.

    “As a country, we hardly meet our OPEC production quantum of 1.99 million barrels per day with our current production level of 1.4 million barrels per day which is currently being threatened by the activities of these economic saboteurs.

    “This has done extensive damage to the environment and losing 1.9 billion dollars every month is colossal, considering the nature of the global economy at the moment,’’ he said.

    Kyari reinstated that the team needed the support and buy-in of Delta Government “because stopping this oil theft requires the concerted efforts of the Federal, State Governments, oil companies and security agencies”.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and FIFA launch climate partnership
    Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and FIFA launch climate partnership
     Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and FIFA launch climate partnership
    Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and FIFA launch climate partnership
    Africa7 days ago

    Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and FIFA launch climate partnership

    PIFS and FIFA (www.FIFA.com) signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding in April; In July, Pacific Islands Forum leaders declared a climate change emergency in the Pacific; The association focuses on action against climate change and climate-resilient football infrastructure.

    The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and FIFA have jointly launched a 12-month plan to implement the partnership on climate change they signed in April and turn the commitment into concrete climate action.

    Key activities will include the use of FIFA Legends to raise awareness of climate change and adapt existing infrastructure in one of the world's most vulnerable regions to make it more climate resilient.

    FIFA President Gianni Infantino and PIF Secretary General Henry Puna signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to combat climate change during the FIFA Congress in Doha, Qatar, in April.

    The MOU focuses on using football diplomacy to educate and raise awareness about climate change and disaster resilience.

    It also aims to improve climate-resilient infrastructure, focus on the development of climate-resilient football, and mobilize funding for resilience building in the region, including support for the Pacific Resilience Facility.

    According to Secretary General Puna, the implementation plan is a demonstration to the people and communities of the Pacific that both FIFA and PIFS are serious about addressing the climate emergency facing the region and building the resilience of vulnerable communities.

    “The Pacific region recognizes that 2022 is a watershed year for urgent and strong climate action, where promises and commitments must be translated into action,” said SG Puna. “This is the key message that the Pacific will take to the international community ahead of COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in November.

    COP 27 must comply with the implementation”.

    “At their July meeting, the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers supported new ways to elevate regional climate change priorities to the international community, including through sports diplomacy, such as the recent MOU on Climate Change.

    with FIFA," he added.

    “This marks recognition and support from across the region for the MOU as an innovative approach to climate advocacy, harnessing the global influence of football.” Gianni Infantino said: “Certainly football is not immune to climate change and is affected at all levels, from grassroots and fan to elite, with the Oceania region facing a particularly high risk of climate impacts and disasters.

    ”.

    “At FIFA, we also have a duty to society at large: helping to draw attention to and take action on climate change in one of the most vulnerable regions of the world is one of the best ways we can use the power and the popularity of football to have a positive impact."

    Key activities include: creating a climate change literacy program for schools and training to support FIFA Legends' climate change awareness; Joint communications plan and promotion ahead of COP 27 and the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand; Support climate protection and modernization of football infrastructure in the Pacific; Convene a regional workshop on developing resilient football infrastructure; conduct an audit of the regional soccer infrastructure; and Explore collaboration with the Pacific Resilience Facility in the m arc of the FIFA Climate Strategy.

  •  Lalong begins construction of mass housing to reduce housing deficit
    Lalong begins construction of mass housing to reduce housing deficit 
     Lalong begins construction of mass housing to reduce housing deficit
    Lalong begins construction of mass housing to reduce housing deficit 
    General news2 weeks ago

    Lalong begins construction of mass housing to reduce housing deficit 

    Plateau Governor Simon Lalong on Friday began the construction of mass housing estate to address the state housing deficit.

    Lalong at the groundbreaking of the estate, which is in partnership with Odigbo Properties Limited, said that the state had a housing deficit of 1.2 million.

    The governor stated that the groundbreaking marked another milestone in the provision of mass housing in Plateau through partnership between government and the private sector.

    The governor pointed out  that housing became an important issue because the population was increasing daily while houses were becoming scarce.

    “This has led to many challenges, including rapid urbanisation characterised by urban slums, over-crowding, unwholesome environmental conditions, absence of open spaces and overdevelopment of land among others.

    “These challenges continue to bother government, hence the efforts to engage the private sector in developing modern housing that provides top class facilities, using modern building technologies.

    “The engagement with Odigbo Properties Ltd for the construction of Royal Palm Estate is one of the outcomes of the efforts of government in this regard.

    “There are 19 other MOUs signed on behalf of government by Ministry of Housing with private developers and we are awaiting their arrival to commence construction just as Odigbo Properties has done.

    “Through partnerships such as this, we hope to address the shortage of mass housing in the state and also address the problem of unplanned development that has seriously affected the beauty of the city and hampered access,” he said.

    Managing Director, Odigbo Properties Limited, Mr Chikieze Odigbo  said the partnership was borne of the company’s desire to ensure that most Nigerians had quality roofs over their heads.

    Odigbo announced that Royal Palms Estate, sitting on a 40 hectares of land, would  provide over 500 houses.

    The managing director stated that based on the advice of Plateau Ministry of Housing, the houses, comprising three bedrooms, two-bedroom bungalows and one bedroom would be built in phases.

    “For the first phase,  50 houses will be completed within eight months meaning that 50 families will live in the next eight months.

    “The next phase will be 100 houses and we will continue like that till we meet our target.

    “The estate will have recreational centres, health centre, shopping mall, school and worship centres.

    “In fact, Royal Palms Estate is a one-stop where every facility and service would be provided within,” he explainedAccording to him, there would be solar power with each house with its panel.

    Chairman, Odigbo Properties Limited, Gen. Daniel Bako, told the gathering that adequate security would be provided in the area.

    Bako appreciated the community leaders and land owners for making the land available.

    The chairman thanked the agencies that subscribed to the the programme, saying that their staff would remain grateful for the gesture.

    Plateau Commissioner for Housing, Mr Ibrahim Dadi said that housing projects came along with many employment opportunities for youths.

    Dadi urged citizens particularly civil servants, to take advantage of the estate to own their houses.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the groundbreaking was witnessed by many dignitaries within and outside Plateau.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  The US Trade and Development Agency USTDA and the Africa Investment Forum IDA show women as promoters of investment
    The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Africa Investment Forum (IDA) show women as promoters of investment
     The US Trade and Development Agency USTDA and the Africa Investment Forum IDA show women as promoters of investment
    The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Africa Investment Forum (IDA) show women as promoters of investment
    Africa3 weeks ago

    The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Africa Investment Forum (IDA) show women as promoters of investment

    The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the African Development Bank's Africa Investment Forum (IDA) (www.AfDB.org) co-sponsored a forum of 40 women leaders offering high-quality solutions for Africa's infrastructure needs.

    The forum took place during last week's US-Africa Business Summit in Marrakech, Morocco.

    During the forum, USTDA and AIF showcased how their existing partnership (https://bit.ly/3zaVKEx) promotes women-led sustainable infrastructure in Africa.

    The closed-door meeting brought together women leaders from the African private sector, the US government and international development finance agencies.

    He also supported the US government's Prosper Africa initiative to increase trade and investment between African nations and the United States.

    “It is vitally important to bring women together to talk about opportunities in infrastructure development and access to capital,” said Enoh T.

    Ebong, USTDA Director.

    "Our partnership with IDA will facilitate women's entrepreneurship in Africa and stimulate sustainable infrastructure development in support of Africa's long-term growth."

    AIF Senior Director Chinelo Anohu praised the transaction-focused nature of the association.

    “Today we have been discussing the obstacles to investment and how to overcome them.

    We also consider how to build cross-agency partnerships and how to share deal streams and collaborate on missing pieces that will improve infrastructure investment on the continent.

    This is a collaboration that we will continue as we head to the Africa Investment Forum 2022 Market Days in Abidjan in November and the US-Africa Leaders Summit in December.” Addressing the media after the women's summit, Dana Banks, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to the US-Africa Leaders' Summit, said, “The discussion was a true demonstration of the Administration's commitment to Biden-Harris with Africa and a commitment to focus on women's empowerment in the run-up to the US-Africa Leaders' Summit in December."

    Banks also announced that the focus on women and connecting project sponsors with capital will be one of the pillars of the White House Summit.

    About the USTDA-AIF Partnership In November 2021, USTDA and AIF signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support high-quality infrastructure solutions for sub-Saharan Africa.

    It builds on AIF's ability to mobilize capital (https://bit.ly/3J9lB4k) and USTDA's approach to ensuring the bankability of deals through its provision of grant-based feasibility studies.

    The MOU has already led to a mutually beneficial collaboration to advance sustainable infrastructure projects that support Africa's long-term growth, as the two organizations share their draft agreements.

    This partnership with USTDA will help AIF advance several of its current priorities, including its "Women as Investment Champions" initiative (https://bit.ly/3oyn7DF), which launched in 2019 and led to the 2021 establishment of a stand-alone stand for transactions that are not only founded and led by women, but also have a significant gender impact.

    The Women as Investment Champions initiative will be presented at the AIF Market Days 2022, which will take place from November 2-4 in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

    The platform is expected to increase the proportion of deals that are led by women and have an impact on women, and is based on the AIF submission in March 2022 (https://bit.ly/3Bp3TIa) of 45 projects with a worth up to $50 billion for its virtual boardrooms.

    Eight of these were led by women worth nearly $5 billion.

  •  China Nigeria sign Contemporary World Magazine pact to foster peace development
    China, Nigeria sign Contemporary World Magazine pact to foster peace, development
     China Nigeria sign Contemporary World Magazine pact to foster peace development
    China, Nigeria sign Contemporary World Magazine pact to foster peace, development
    Foreign1 month ago

    China, Nigeria sign Contemporary World Magazine pact to foster peace, development

    The Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, Abuja on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Institute for Peace and Conflict resolution (IPCR) to prevent insecurity, foster peace and development in Nigeria.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Chinese Contemporary World Magazine agreement, an intellectual publication, will contain contents on mechanism to prevent insecurity, promote good governance, poverty eradication among other issues.

    Mr Cui, Jianchun, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria said that China, knowing and understanding what peace is would share its experiences with Nigeria in the joint publication to ensure peace and sustainable development in Nigeria.

    Cui said that Nigeria was the first country in Africa to sign the MoU with the Chinese government, this he said showed how much importance China attached to Nigeria.

    “Today we make it a reality. We find a good partner from China and this is the Contemporary World Magazine and it is a very powerful magazine all over the world.

    “Here the Nigeria Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution is a very important institute, not only for Nigeria. You know peace we need peace, we need resolution.

    “In Nigeria, we have serious problems we have problems of insecurity, in China also we have insecurity but mostly from external forces. But in Nigeria we have different insecurity.

    “And, I discuss with the director-general how can we do things differently and the good thing is to have symphony and my idea advocating harmony is to share Chinese harmony, to perform Nigeria-China symphony.

    “Today is a very good example on how can we have a cooperation between the two most important institutions and try to provide our idea, our approach, our solution to Nigeria to African continent, to the whole developing countries.

    “So, I do believe that this is just the beginning and also this is supported by the two governments and I think we can do good things,” Cui said.

    Cui said that during his tenure, his priority was to strengthen the bilateral relations between China and Nigeria and to get more support from China to develop various sectors in Nigeria.

    In his remarks, the director-general of IPCR said that the signing of the Chinese Contemporary World Magazine MoU between Nigeria and China was another stride in the already existing good bilateral relations between both countries.
    Bakut said that with the content of the magazine duly applied, Nigeria would begin to prevent insecurity and spend less on fighting the scourge.

    “It is a magazine, but not just an ordinary magazine that you see on the road. This is an intellectual magazine which is focused on looking at issues that are not sentimental.

    “We look at real issues of governance, International relations, economics, development, poverty eradication, culture, environmental issues.

    “Security Is part of what we are doing. The reason for the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution is a preventive agency.

    “If we have enough money to prevent insecurity, there will be no need for the army of police to collect money to resolve the security challenges.

    “In other words, what we are doing, we are security related agency, we try to prevent insecurity before it becomes an issue. So this is the purpose,” Bakut said.

    He explained that aside being an intellectual magazine, the policies would make an impact across all strata as the IPCR now have zonal offices across the country to implement policies.

    NAN reports that Mr Wu Baoci, Directing Officer of the Chinese Embassy in Abuja, signed the MoU on behalf of the Chinese government while Bakut signed on behalf of the Federal Government.

    The first issue of the magazine is expected to be launched in September and will be expected to sell at N1,000 a copy, a price already subsidized by the Chinese government.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Ondo Govt decry delay of Medical City Project threaten contract revocation
    Ondo Govt. decry delay of Medical City Project, threaten contract revocation
     Ondo Govt decry delay of Medical City Project threaten contract revocation
    Ondo Govt. decry delay of Medical City Project, threaten contract revocation
    General news1 month ago

    Ondo Govt. decry delay of Medical City Project, threaten contract revocation

    The Ondo State Government has decried the delay in the take-off of the Medical City project awarded to Medicus Multi Services Limited.

    The project, sited in Ilu Abo, Akure North Local Government Area of the state, is expected to gulp $1.5 billion.

    Prof. Dayo Faduyile, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Health Matters, during a meeting with the contractor on Thursday in Akure, said that the project was of utmost priority to the state.

    Faduyile disclosed that the project had been a subject of discussion at several state council meetings, and he had been directed to get in touch with the contractor.

    The governor’s aide said that the state could not afford to have no work at the site until July ending and warned that the contract would be revoked if nothing was done before July ending.

    Also speaking, Mrs Olubunmi Ademosu, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Public Affairs and Inter-Governmental Relations, said that the July ending deadline was sacrosanct.

    Ademosu explained that the government had waited long enough and could not afford to continue to wait endlessly.

    She expressed her displeasure to the Medicus team, adding that she would not be part of any further delay in starting the project

    Responding, Mr Ernest Michael, the Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of Medicus Multi Services Ltd., explained to the officials the factors impeding the immediate commencement of the project, which was initiated in 2019.

    Michael noted that the project would have started, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused the delay.

    He explained that Medicus Multi Services Ltd. had already accessed $1 billion loan out of $1.2 billion approved for the project.

    According to him, many obstacles set in that affected the actualisation of the project.

    “Furthermore, the economic meltdown occasioned by Covid-19 has caused the upward review of the project cost from the earlier value of $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion in the present day economy.

    “The preferred contractor did not accept all the terms and conditions in the Memorandum of Understanding, (MOU) earlier prepared by Medicus Multi Services Ltd.

    “This contractor preferred a reviewed one, which is yet to be done, and which has caused the delay in moving to the project site.

    “We plead with the state government to give us till September 2022 to review the MOU and fine-tune the work plan for the project to commence,” Michael pleaded.

    Also, Dr Sunday Falae, a partner of Medicus Multi Services Ltd., who corroborated the explanation of the CEO, appealed to the state government “to give the contractors till September to be on a safe side so as to do a good job”.



    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  State Visit of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta to the Republic of Seychelles
    State Visit of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta to the Republic of Seychelles
     State Visit of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta to the Republic of Seychelles
    State Visit of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta to the Republic of Seychelles
    Africa1 month ago

    State Visit of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta to the Republic of Seychelles

    The Presidency of the Republic is pleased to announce the State Visit of the Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, to the Republic of Seychelles from July 17 to 19, 2022.President Kenyatta's visit is at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan. During the 3-day visit, President Kenyatta will hold bilateral talks with President Ramkalawan at Government House. It is also expected that MOUs and Agreements will be signed during the visit.He will also address an Extraordinary Session of the National Assembly.President Kenyatta will have the pleasure of visiting Praslin Island before his departure. 

  •  Ten takeaways from State Visit to Portugal Two Nations and the will for strategic partnership Garba Shehu
    Ten takeaways from State Visit to Portugal: Two Nations and the will for strategic partnership – Garba Shehu
     Ten takeaways from State Visit to Portugal Two Nations and the will for strategic partnership Garba Shehu
    Ten takeaways from State Visit to Portugal: Two Nations and the will for strategic partnership – Garba Shehu
    General news1 month ago

    Ten takeaways from State Visit to Portugal: Two Nations and the will for strategic partnership – Garba Shehu

    Ten takeaways from State Visit to Portugal: Two Nations and the will for strategic partnership – Garba Shehu

    TEN TAKEAWAYS FROM STATE VISIT TO PORTUGAL: TWO NATIONS AND THE WILL FOR STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

    By Garba Shehu

    President Muhammadu Buhari’s State Visit to Lisbon, Portugal, Wednesday 28th June to 2nd July was a first class success story and this is measurable by outcomes, not least, the real determination of the two nations to engender a close relationship.

    Many in Nigeria remember that historically, Portuguese sailors were the first in Europe (ahead of British) to have contact with the territory now called Nigeria, when a certain Explorer, Rui de Sequira visited the Lagos area in 1472, actually naming the area around the city as Lago de Curamo, which means Lake of Curamo (Curamo, recall Kuramo Lagoon, Kuramo Beach and Kuramo Hall at the famous Eko Hotel, Lagos).

    Among the important things embedded in the vision of Nigeria’s role and place in the world , clearly laid by President Muhammadu Buhari, is the revival of important relationships that have suffered long neglect. In addition, he has a strong willingness to assume the leadership expected from Africa’s largest country in population and economy.

    So herein lies the first importance of this visit.

    One, there can be no better illustration of the larger strategic goal of the future of this relationship than the eight agreements and Memoranda Of Agreement, MOUs signed in the course of this visit.

    These are the MOU on political consultations, diplomatic training, research and exchange of information and documentation; cooperation in the field of culture; in the field of women and girls development, empowerment and gender affairs; youths and in the area of sports.

    At the very well attended Portugal and Nigeria Economic Forum with the chosen theme: “Expanding Investment and Trade Between Nigeria and Portugal,” two agreements also were signed, one between the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council and AICEP, its Portuguese equivalent and another between the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, NACCIMA and the similar body in Portugal.

    Two, this visit achieved a desire for a strategic partnership to strengthen the work Nigeria has been praised for doing by all levels of Portuguese authority- President, Prime Minister, President of National Assembly and Mayor of Lisbon-which is her stabilizing role in West Africa and importantly for the hosts, the stability and support of the ex-Portuguese territories in the subregion, specifically Guinea Bissau and São Tomé and Principe. This is resonating very well with the Portuguese.

    Three. Invariably linked to this is the convergence of strategic interests and the laying of a framework to strengthen security and cooperation between the two states.

    Portugal which has an association with with its former territories in Africa, the equivalent of our own British Commonwealth made up of Angola and Cape Verde in addition to the two others states mentioned. They have troops deployed for safekeeping duty in West Africa. They have committed to support Nigeria in military training, the sharing of intelligence and in the war against terrorism.

    Four. Nigeria and Portugal have equally identified a common interest and goal in the transatlantic gas pipeline for which our country needs investment and security. This is with a view to finding a market in Europe for the enormous gas resources available to us. After listening to a briefing on the pipeline by Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, President Marcelo de Sousa was quick to show interest in the maritime mapping of the gas pipeline, instead of the Trans Saharan pathway which is equally an option. Portugal, says President Sousa has chosen for itself, the role of the spokesman and defender of African interests in the EU.

    Nigerian LNG is important for Portugal especially at this time of the Russia-Ukraine war, and the regime of western sanctions imposed on the Russian supply of oil and gas.

    With 60 percent of our LNG going to Portugal, meeting 30 percent of their energy needs, Portugal is today more energy secure than most of their Russia-dependent European neighbours. It is noteworthy that the Portuguese are very appreciative of the consistency and reliability of the gas from Nigeria, thanks of course to good management from NLNG.

    Five. The Kano-Maradi railway line being constructed by a Portuguese company, Mota-Engil, is turning out to be a significant factor in the emerging relations between our countries.

    Despite President Buhari’s emphasis at several speaking opportunities that the contractor met all requirements to beat others to get the job, the Portuguese authorities see it not only as a milestone in trade relations but also as a trailblazer and a precursor to the evolution of Nigeria as the gateway to the vast African market opened up by the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.

    President Sousa spoke about their wish for the entry into the Nigerian market of Portuguese companies, “not in 30s or 100, but in their thousands.”

    Six, Portugal, which was a strong force in the UN recognition of Nigeria as one of five centres for vaccine production in Africa has determined to key into our health sector. They will come in. It’s a country with a very strong pharmaceutical economy.

    Seven, in the choice of Jose Peseiro, the Portuguese coach of the Super Eagles, Nigeria struck yet another positive cord that resonates politically and diplomatically.

    Even before the advent of coach Peseiro, there are more than 200 professional football players of Nigerian origin in Portugal.

    Some of them were brought to a meeting with the President, coordinated by Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa. Now, we have a commitment that the country famous for producing Ronaldo, and for its globally recognized football academy is opening up chances for our youth to train.

    Eight, there is also a welcome plan to share the achievements of Portugal in the field of renewable energy. With 60 percent of their energy got from renewable sources, that country ranks among the world leaders, hoping to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.

    For the Buhari administration, and hopefully for the succeeding ones, the attainment of set climate change objectives will continue as a priority. For our two countries, this will be a win-win.

    Nine, we have now an MOU on political consultations, diplomatic training, research and exchange of information and documentation. This will see our two nations working hand in hand at multilateral institutions including the UN. Portugal prides herself with experience in international relations.

    Ten. Lastly is the important thing about the very strong alignment of strategic interests of both countries. It’s rare to see this anywhere. The commitment to be with Nigeria is everywhere: All levels of authority in the country: President, Prime Minister, President of the National Assembly, and Mayor of Lisbon showing a total commitment to align with Nigeria. President Sousa in his second term said “I waited six years for this marriage.”

    They honored him with that country’s highest national order.

    For President Buhari, this visit is an affirmation of the norm that global aspirations must be accompanied by global engagements and a demonstration of his determination to turn commitments into actions.

    Hopefully, these will lead to the acceleration of the nation’s economic growth, securing the country, attracting investment and creating jobs.

    Garba Shehu is Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Nigeria Portugal sign MoUs in diverse sectors
    Nigeria, Portugal sign MoUs in diverse sectors
     Nigeria Portugal sign MoUs in diverse sectors
    Nigeria, Portugal sign MoUs in diverse sectors
    General news2 months ago

    Nigeria, Portugal sign MoUs in diverse sectors

    Nigeria and Portugal on Friday in Lisbon signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in different sectors.

    Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman in a statement, said the signing ceremony was done by cabinet level officials from the two countries as part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s State Visit to the European Union country.

    The presidential aide stated that Buhari and the Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa witnessed the signing ceremony.

    ”The MoUs signed include Political Consultations; Diplomatic Training, Research and the Exchange of Information and Documentation.

     

    Cooperation in the field of Culture; and Cooperation in the Field of Women and Girls Development, Empowerment and Gender Affairs; Youths and Sports were also parts of the cooperation.

    At a business forum organised during the visit, at which some of the MoUs were finalised between the two countries’ investment promotion agencies and chambers of commerce, Buhari had described the progress in signing the agreements as ‘‘excellent foundations for increased bilateral trade’’.

    NewsSourceCredit: NAN